1. Don’t Be Mean
2. Keep Your Promises
3. You Don’t Know everything
#1 Don’t Suck, Others Have Feelings Too, Ya Know
Everyone is always telling you how to do things, wipe your feet, clean your plate, attach the TPS report. And while some things that you shouldn’t do in life are obvious to the good upstanding citizens of the workplace, somehow common sense and courtesy still elude the densest of managers. SO, we are here to iterate, illiterate and illuminate the “Don’t Do This” file. Here we go!
You may laugh but it is tougher than it seems. As managers, we sometimes get so wrapped up in our own tasks, objectives and roadblocks that, in moments of frustration, we lash out at the team or single out one person to blame. Just remember, “Blame = Shame”. Even if the person or team is at fault, try to keep in mind that as the species of higher-intelligence, we humans don’t respond well to a newspaper smack to the nose. Your people won’t come back to lick peanut butter off your face five minutes later, they will internalize and and stew until…guess what…the whole office knows what and a**hole you were. Sit down with your team and have a rap session about what went wrong and why you’re frustrated, then, and here’s the kicker, ask them for input and……LISTEN! Your people want to feel like part of the solution not the problem.
#2 But…But…But…You Promised!
Just because you’re the big cheese doesn’t mean you get to sit on your diamond-crusted throne with a clandestine magical wand! However, good culture is clandestine; it must start with the leadership and flow freely downstream like the ‘Salmon of Capistrano’. In the words and spirit of Spiderman, “with great power comes great responsibility”. When you promise something to your team, you must follow through! You don’t want your Clark Griswold promising his family a pool just to receive his “Jelly of the Month Club” certificate. You may just get kidnapped by cousin Eddie, you cheap, no good, rotten, lying………(National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Boss Scene).
But seriously, the real gift that keeps on giving is R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Do what you say, say what you mean and do what it takes to make good on your word.
#3 You’re NOT the Smartest Human Being in the World…Mind = Blown!
Hey Harvard Boy, you ever installed a pickle-fork and a toe-in in an oversquare Hemi with a gas-axe? Ya, me neither, so I trust my mechanic to handle the details after I tell him I want a faster car. The point I’m making (even though that last sentence probably means nothing to a real mechanic) is that you hired smart people who are masters of their domain; so…LET THEM DO THEIR JOB! If you think you know how to do everything and expect people to do it the way you would, there is a good chance you will alienate great people with exceptional skills who will leave your A** for a good culture with leadership who gives them the credit they deserve. Yes, my friend, you will be one lonely micromanaging mamma-jamma. The moral of this story is, hire people smarter than you and let them do what they do.